As we enter into this Advent Season, we want to share resources to help you honor and welcome newcomers as part of your congregation’s observance of Advent, Christmas and Epiphany.
Seeking Peace & Joy for All lifts up the many different holidays and holy days celebrated throughout the winter and highlights faith resources to support your public witness of welcome, including a sermon by the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. that was delivered in a Presbyterian congregation in 1958!
This Interfaith Immigration Coalition has released a new resource, “Preparing Welcome: An Advent Devotional for Immigrant Justice” which shares reflections, stories, prayers, and opportunities to take action, weaving together the Advent themes of liberation and hope with the ongoing struggle for immigrant justice. Thank you to Amanda Craft from the Immigration Issues Office for her contributions.
ICYMI, the PC(USA) released its own toolkit in 2020 under the title “Preparing Welcome” for congregations to identify concrete steps they can take in preparing welcome, using the 4 signposts of Advent: Hope, Peace Love and Joy. We can cultivate a just and generous welcome in our congregations and our communities.
Join us and our Interfaith partners on Wednesday, December 14th at 8 p.m. Eastern/5 p.m. Pacific for a Webinar on how we can act in solidarity with Venezuelans and other asylum seekers to restore U.S. asylum. More information will be sent out via the PDA and Interfaith Immigration Coalition Facebook pages in early December.
In the U.S., thousands of immigrant children and families spend the holidays behind bars—simply because they crossed the border in search of safety. Let them know that they’re not alone by sending a holiday card. People of all ages can help send Hope for the Holidays !
We close with this quote from the Rev. Dr. Christian De la Rosa who opened our 2021 advent series with these words:
This time of Advent is the time to remember the promises of God, to take the time for critical analysis of our own circumstances within a global pandemic, to understand the circumstances of the refugee holy family from our own human migration crisis, and to be attentive to the signs of the times in all of creation. It is the time to find again, the new relationship with God and identify our own covenants counting on the love and the grace of God but also rooted in our own faith and commitments to justice.
May it be so.